Drone lightshow highlights Olympic technologies

Drone lightshow highlights Olympic technologies

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Olympic Games is traditionally an opportunity to showcase the latest technologies, and Tokyo 2021 is no exception. Starting from the drone show at the opening ceremony to a pilot 5G network, various technologies are being shown.

Intel provided the 1824 coordinated drone hardware and software for the display at the opening ceremony on Friday with an RTK GNSS satellite positioning system that gives centimetre accuracy. The Shooting Star3 drones weigh just 340g and have four LEDs for the light show. For comparison, the current record for a drone show is 3,051 UAVs by Shenzhen Damoda Intelligent Control Technology in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, in September 2020.

Being used for the first time at the 2021 Olympics, 3DAT (3D Athlete Tracking) combines machine learning with computer vision motion tracking. This takes video from multiple cameras then applies pose estimation and biomechanics algorithms to extract 3D form and motion data. This data can be used by broadcasters or to boost the training of the athletes. That data will also be integrated into the Olympic broadcast for overlay visualizations that will be made available during replays of the 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay and hurdle athletic events this coming week.

Intel has also installed its True View high-resolution cameras throughout the basketball venue to capture the action from across the court. The rendering of the data enables 360-degree replays and detailed depictions of movements and field-of-play violations that are difficult to judge with human eyes. Intel will film 52 matches during the 15 days of the event.

NTT and NTT DoCoMo are using 5G for livestreaming ultra-high-resolution video and simultaneous multipoint video, combined with augmented reality (AR) for the swimming (July 25-27), sailing (July 25-Aug. 4) and golf events (July 25-Aug. 4). The network can access digital twin models of the venues hosted by Chinese cloud provider Alibaba.

Broadcaster NHK is to transmit over 200 hours of video captured from ultra high resolution 8K cameras over its satellite channel. This has four times the resolution of current 4K video with 33m pixels at 7,680 x 4,320 and will broadcast coverage from the opening and closing ceremonies and seven events including swimming, athletics and judo. 8K coverage of four Paralympics events is also planned, showing the athletics, swimming, badminton and wheelchair rugby.

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